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Agroforestry – scaling up a nature-based solution for water?

We must produce food for a growing population while halting deforestation, reducing degradation and promoting conservation and restoration. Agroforestry (farming systems with trees) is one nature-based solution used for centuries to improve food security and livelihoods while sustainably managing ecosystems and their functions, such as biodiversity and ecosystem service delivery.

Considering the importance of water for communities and agriculture, why isn’t agroforestry promoted more for its ability to deliver on these water ecosystem services? Could emphasizing the benefits of water-related ecosystem services incentivize the scaling-up of agroforestry?

This webinar will deliberate on agroforestry as a nature-based solution for water at different scales: local/farm, national and global scales. It will also discuss the challenges and solutions of scaling-up agroforestry using this water lens, including if such a strategy is possible or needed. The outcomes will be used to inform discourse on agroforestry and climate action – and thus contribute to achieving the targets of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The event is the last in a webinar series hosted by the Forest-Water Champions in the run to World Water Week 2021.

Forest Water Champions is an expert group initiated by FAO, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and SIWI, comprised of key international actors from the forestry and water sectors. Since 2017 the group has met annually to build on converging perspectives and ideas linking forest and water. The outcomes from this event will be used to inform the Forest-Water Champions’ next steps.


1. Welcome address  Tony Simons, CIFOR-ICRAF

2. Introduction to Forest-Water Champions – Malin Gustafsson, SIWI

3. Evidence for agroforestry as a nature-based solution for water and other benefits

  • Margaret Muchanga, farmer associated with Vi Agroforestry, part of Agroforestry Network
  • Alok Sikka, IWMI and Shiv Dhyani, CIFOR-ICRAF 
  • Meine van Noordwijk, CIFOR-ICRAF

4. Facilitated discussion
     moderated by Matilda Palm, Agroforestry Network and Malin Gustafsson, SIWI

5. Closing remarks – Elaine Springgay, FAO

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